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Defence lawyers grill cop in Vybz Kartel trial

Witness tells lawyer question inappropriate

BY KARYL WALKER Editor - Crime/Court Desk walkerk@jamaicaobserver.com

Saturday, January 18, 2014    

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DEFENCE attorneys yesterday took further pot shots at the credibility of prosecution witness Corporal Sean Brown during the murder trial of Vybz Kartel and his four co-accused in the Supreme Court in downtown Kingston.

Defence attorney Pierre Rodgers accused Brown, who is assigned to the Crime Forensic Unit of the Organised Crime Investigation Division, of being unfair and unjust.

Rodgers charged that Brown's incomplete perusal of the phone data obtained from telecommunications company Digicel was unprofessional.

"Wouldn't justice and fairness dictate that you go through all the data?" Rodgers asked.

Brown admitted that he had used key words such as 'murder', 'killing', 'Kartel' and 'Lizard', to narrow down the pool of text messages and call records he provided to the court as evidence.

"That formed the basis of the analysis," Brown said.

But Rodgers would have none of it. He cited two cellular calls that were made within a second of each other on a phone allegedly used by Kartel but were made from cell cites at the Norman Manley International Airport and Acadia in upper St Andrew.

This information was not given to the court as evidence, Rodgers claimed.

"Wouldn't fairness and justice dictate that you go through all the data?" he asked.

Rodgers had earlier accused Brown of concocting a text message said to be sent by the alleged victim, Clive 'Lizard' Williams, to his girlfriend Onieka Jackson, in an effort to fabricate a case against the accused men.

"I put it to you that you concocted the message," said Rodgers firmly.

"You are absolutely wrong," Brown replied.

Rodgers also argued that the time of the text messages that were read out in court earlier this week did not coincide with evidence that was given by the prosecution's star witness, who testified that he and Williams were summoned by Kartel to a house in Havendale, St Andrew and arrived there about 8:00 pm on August 16, 2011.

Attorney Miguel Lorne, meanwhile, made several attempts to get Brown to answer his queries about his witnessing of previous witness Joseph Simmonds, of Digicel, signing his statement and whose order it was to write to Digicel for call data and text message records.

"That is an inappropriate question under Section 17 of the interception of telecommunications act," Brown said.

Under cross-examination from Lorne, Brown testified that he did not know the range of cell sites but later said he was a cell site surveyor, when being cross-examined by Rodgers.

He also said he did not know that a cellular phone could be cloned and that he did not know what cloning was.

Lorne represents Shawn Campbell, while Rodgers represents Kahira Jones.

The two, along with Kartel, are charged with Shane Williams and Kahira Jones.

Police accuse the men of murdering Clive Williams in Kartel's house in Havendale after two guns, which were in the care of Williams and the prosecution's star witness, went missing.

Brown's cross-examination is expected to continue on Monday.

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